Southwest Indians may have made beer from corn

December 6th, 2007 | Posted by Real Beer

New research indicates Indians in the Southwest may have used corn to ferment beer before Europeans arrived.

Ancient and modern pot shards collected by New Mexico state archeologist Glenna Dean, in conjunction with analyses by Sandia National Laboratories researcher Ted Borek, open the possibility that food or beverages made from fermenting corn were consumed by native inhabitants centuries before the Spanish arrived.

“There’s been an artificial construct among archeologists working in New Mexico that no one had alcohol here until the Spanish brought grapes and wine,” Dean said. “That’s so counter-intuitive. It doesn’t make sense to me as a social scientist that New Mexico would have been an island in pre-Columbian times. By this reasoning, ancestral puebloans would have been the only ones in the Southwest not to know about fermentation.”

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One Response to “Southwest Indians may have made beer from corn”

  1. Charles J. Waggon Says:

    “…may have used corn to ferment beer…”

    That is some ground-breaking research indeed.
    I thought some sort of yeast was necessary to ferment beer.

    But seriously folks, as a some-time copy editor, may I suggest

    “…may have used corn to produce beer…”

    or even

    “…may have fermented corn into beer…” if you really need to use the word “ferment.”

    CJ Waggon
    Cuello Rojo, Texas